Cavendish equals Merckx’s all-time Tour stage win record with 34th victory

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Mark Cavendish equalled the all-time tally of Tour de France stage wins when he sped over the finish line at Carcassonne on Friday for a landmark 34th victory in the race.

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It was Cavendish’s fourth win on the 2021 edition, 13 years after claiming his first, and sees the British sprinter equal Eddy Merckx’s 46-year-old record of Tour de France stage wins.

It is all the more remarkable considering Cavendish’s career looked compromised in December: teamless, without a Tour de France win in five years, and struggling to put a long bout of the tiring Epstein-Barr virus behind him.

Cavendish, who rides for Deceuninck-Quick-Step, has steadfastly refused to hype the record due to his reverence for the great Belgian Merckx, who also won the Tour de France five times.

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Known as the “Manx Missile”, the rider from the Isle of Man made it across the line on Friday just a few centimetres ahead of two sprint rivals to celebrate wildly with his team.

Cavendish finished ahead of his lead-out man Michael Morkov of Denmark, with Belgian Jasper Philipsen coming home third.

Slovenian Tadej Pogacar retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey.

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(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

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